Lasting Love and Loyalty

A true friend loves regardless of the situation, and a real brother exists to share the tough times. – (Proverbs 17:17, VOICE)

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. – (Proverbs 17:17, MSG)

 

Reading this verse this morning, my heart overflows with gratitude for the friends and family that God has gifted to me. I have friends that are family and family that are friends. Love and loyalty run deep, and I know that I can trust those who I am blessed to call friends and family. If there is a need, they draw near, rather than run. God calls us to be a community that loves through seasons of struggle and seasons of blessing. May we invest well in the people whom God has given, and be the friends and family that He has modeled for us to be.

 

No matter what comes,photo (13)

I’m never alone;

The Lord’s on my side,

My heart is His home.

A blessing He gives,

His heart and His hands;

Made so tangible,

Through people who stand.

Friends and family,

Are gifts that He gives;

To walk through this life,

Courageously with.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of friends who are family and family that are friends. Thank You that You show us what it means to love in all things and at all times. Forgive us for the times that we have not been faithful friends, or have been too “busy” to step up where You needed us to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would always make people our priority, and listen well to Your leading. Show us how to love others as You first loved us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we learn to be loyal and loving friends and family to all those whom You place in our communities. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Precious Thoughts

How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumbered the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me! – (Psalm 139:17-18, NLT)

 

It is easy to forget just how much truth there actually is in this verse. Sadly, if we are not paying attention, we miss knowing even a fraction of how present and aware God is for us. Yesterday afternoon I was blessed to road trip with a dear friend from my youth. We met in Youth With A Mission, and experienced some serious life-changing times together. As she and I drove, our conversation was deep and honest, and God used her to speak affirming words of truth that my heart needed to hear. I was reminded of how much He loves me, as we traveled together, as if no time had passed – despite life and years having marched on. Additionally, His presence has blessed me in our arrival. As I woke this morning, I was greeted with another conversation by another of the gals with whom I am blessed to gather, and I was in awe as I recognized that I had slept nearly double the hours that I had each night prior this week. He thinks about us and stays with us. It truly is overwhelming! May we remember to take pause and listen to the sweet whispers that He is speaking to our hearts, as the Lord is with us and for us; always.

 

How precious, O Lord,

He Sees and Attends to His Created

Are Your thoughts of me;

As You love so well,

Your grace sets me free.

So many the times,

Beyond what I see;

Your presence remains,

Always, You’re with me.

More than I can count,

Like sands of the sea;

So great is Your love,

For all who seek Thee.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your precious thoughts for us are far more numerous than we can count or imagine. Thank You that You are with us when we are awake, as we sleep, and when we wake each morning. Thank You that there are reminders all around us. Thank You that You utilize the people that You have placed in our lives to be instruments to speak Your truth to our hearts. Forgive us for not slowing down to listen to Your heart for us, or for doubting, even for a second, the vastness and the depth of Your love for us. Teach us to trust You more and to listen to what You are speaking to our hearts. Show us how to love well, all those around us, just as You so relentlessly love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize how often and wonderful Your thoughts are of us, and how You are always with us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Those Who Trust

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a river bank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. – (Jeremiah 17:7-8, NLT)

But those who trust in the Lord will be blessed. They know that the Lord will do what He says. They will be strong like trees planted near a stream that sends out roots to the water. They have nothing to fear when the days get hot. Their leaves are always green. They never worry, even in a year that has no rain. They always produce fruit. – (Jeremiah 17:7-8, ERV)

 

The Lord blesses those who trust in Him. His blessings come in the form of hope and confidence, even when it seems as if there is no reprieve from our circumstances. When we trust in the Lord, His word becomes deeply rooted and established within us, and provides refreshment as we are reminded of the promises that He has made, even when we are not yet seeing them come to pass. In that space of hope, we are able to do immeasurably more than we could hope or imagine to touch hearts and lives for His glory, simply through our faithful trust and devotion to the Lord, in spite of how things appear. May we choose to trust in the Lord with all that we are, knowing that He will do what He says. Let our unwavering faith, even through difficulties, demonstrate the goodness of God and produce fruit for all to see.

 

The blessings of God,Weighty Words

are granted to those;

who place all their trust,

in the Lord who knows.

Confidence and hope,

are gifts that He plants;

in those who trust Him,

in each circumstance.

Like trees with deep roots,

on a river’s edge;

no heat nor a drought,

will waiver heart’s pledge.

For the heart that trusts,

shall always bear fruit;

despite circumstance,

great faithful pursuit.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we place our trust in You, we are blessed with hope and confidence in You. Thank You that You grow our roots deep, establishing Your truth within us, so that when trials come, we can trust in the truth that we already know. Thank You that You use our faithfulness, even in times of trial, to touch the lives of those around us for Your glory. Forgive us for hiding our hurt, or becoming fearful in the fight, as we forget how often You use our trials to touch the lives of those around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be willing to walk in transparency in the places where You call us to allow our story to be seen. Show us how to love and care well for those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You.
Be glorified O God, as we trust in You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Light Destroys Darkness

He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells within Him. – (Daniel 2:22, NIV)

God is the one who uncovers what lies deeply hidden; He knows what hides in darkness; light lives with Him! – (Daniel 2:22, CEB)

He knows hidden secret things that are hard to understand. Light lives within Him, so He knows what is in the dark and secret places. – (Daniel 2:22, ERV)

 

The truth is that God knows all things. There is nothing that is hidden from Him. Even that which is held in the deepest, darkest recesses of our hearts, are known by God. In spite of what we hide, He loves. When the things that are hidden are what we are meant to discover and deal with, He gently shines His light for us to see. If we are lost or confused and feel as if things are dark and hazy, the light of His truth begins to illuminate what is His will and His way in the midst of our darkness. When we seek Him, we find Him; for darkness no longer exists when light enters in. The two cannot coexist. Light destroys darkness. May we each allow the Lord to shine His light in our hearts and lives, so that darkness will disappear and His light may be reflected to others through us.

 

There’s nothing hidden,Believe Instead of Striving

that God cannot see;

for He is the light,

that lives within me.

Even those spaces,

of hurt and of pain;

the Lord, He’s ready,

to breathe life again.

We must choose seek Him,

for He’s gentle, kind;

He won’t force way in,

as we seek, we’ll find.

New understanding,

of deep mysteries;

are gifts that He gives,

so blind hearts might see.

God is the pure light,

He knows all there is;

He loves and He gives,

so all might choose live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You reveal deep and hidden things, and that You know what lies in darkness because You are the Light. Forgive us for attempting to keep our hurts and our transgressions hidden from You, for You already know each one. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be quick to confess our need for You and Your help, forgiveness and light, as we navigate the often darkness that surrounds us. Show us how to be Your light unto the world through loving others with the very same love that You give unto us. Let Your grace and peace be what we extend to all whom we meet, so that they can clearly see Your light through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and Your light to illuminate the places that seem so dark – for darkness disappears when Your light enters in. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

The Word at Work

God’s word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. – (Hebrews 4:12, ERV)

For whatever God says to us is full of living power; it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are. – (Hebrews 4:12, TLB)

The truth of God stands. No matter what lies hidden, it is known by God. He sees past all pretenses and pretty cover-ups, and gets straight to the heart of things. Where we need correction, He comes. Where we need direction, He leads. Where we need to be encouraged, He speaks life. In those spaces of weariness where we begin to tire of doing good, He grants strength and reminds us how pleased He is when we do His will. God’s word is alive and active and as we invest our time and attention to spending time reading it, He takes what is before us, and instructs, grows and shows us where we are meant to go. May we spend time earnestly seeking the Lord each day through the washing of His word; and may we be encouraged as He refines and defines us, as our hearts become more and more like His.

The word of the Lord,The Word of God

is alive, at work;

it cuts to the core,

highlights sin that lurks.

It judges our thoughts,

actions and desires;

points out our true heart,

rescues from the fire.

The truth of God stands,

for now and always;

it’s hope we can trust,

for all of our days.

By His word He shows,

how we’re meant to live;

what we should let go,

and grace we’re to give.

His words wash away,

that which needs to go;

and raises in us,

His love we’re to show.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is alive and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. Thank You that Your word gets past all of our walls and straights to the heart. Thank You that by Your word and Spirit, You show us our thoughts and attitudes of our hearts through Your eyes. Forgive us for every way within us that does not align with Your heart and the truth of Your word. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your strength to lead and guide us to walk in Your way and live out Your truth. Show us how to love others with the same gracious and selfless love that You give to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invest time in Your word and allow Your Spirit to show us how it is to shape all that we say and do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Rooted and Established in Love

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. – (Ephesians 3:16-18)

                                                                                                                                                                                                             Paul, in this letter to the Ephesians, reminds us of a couple of important truths. First, it is both good and beneficial to pray for each other, as it is one of the ways in which Christ strengthens our hearts through faith. Second, when we become rooted and established in His love, He grants us His power and wisdom to begin to grasp just how great is the magnitude of Christ’s love for each of us – as He was willing to lay down His life for each one of us, individually. The Lord equips us so that we are able to do abundantly more than we ever thought we could. May we rise up and remember to pray for Christ’s strength and power to be present with all of His people, as we choose to invest our lives into growing deeper roots in Him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let us pray to Him,Hope for Eternity
our Source and Supply;
Who grants us all strength,
love never denied.
May each of us grasp,
how deep and how wide;
the great love of Christ,
Who for us, He died.
Taking all our sin,
He opened the way;
for us to draw near,
to worship, to pray.
It’s by His Spirit,
that we are made clean;
equipped and strengthened,
so His light is seen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we ask, You answer. Thank You that You strengthen us with Your power, through Your Spirit within us. Thank You that as we invest and grow roots deeper in You, we begin to grasp the magnitude of Your mighty love for us. Forgive us for not asking nor investing where we are meant to seek You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will pray for others as we too are further established in our foundation in You. Help us to love others well, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we pray for great things for others as You continue to grow us in our understanding of You. Amen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  © Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19